On March 26, 2020, the D.C. Policy Center’s article, COVID-19 pandemic and the District of Columbia: What to expect?, was cited by the DC Line:
Thus far, the long-term budget impact has drawn minimal attention. The hue and cry has been for economic relief and public health protections. Echoing the view of many residents, Yesim Sayin Taylor, head of the nonprofit D.C. Policy Center, said, “DC passed a good [rescue] package.”
However, as an expert on DC’s finances, her praise came with caveats and cautions. Taylor told me during our interview last week that she is concerned about the long-term impact on workers who are part of the “in-person” economy. These are people who can’t work from home. She cited as examples drivers with ride-hailing companies, building janitors, security personnel, and general administrative personnel who work in offices.
The local bailout allows independent contractors to receive some help through grants and loans. But responding to a question from the press at her coronavirus update, Mayor Muriel Bowser said on Wednesday there isn’t a lot of money for this segment of the workforce.
In a report Taylor released this week, she asserted that the central theme of the coronavirus crisis is “capacity,” citing as examples the ability of governments to perform tests and of hospitals to handle the influx of cases. But the issue is broader. The rescue packages could adversely affect “District residents’ and businesses’ capacity to bounce back when it is time to grow and thrive again.” She said it’s important to consider how to “build a more resilient local economy in the long run.”